Bullies love to break the rules and they love it even more if they are gathering followers while breaking those rules. And, one of the biggest bullies in our lives that does exactly this is the sinful nature or the sin that dwells within our hearts. It has the power to entice us to do things that we know are wrong.
I love how the apostle Paul puts it when he is speaking about this bully. He says,”Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. ” OR “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. (ROMANS 7:16-17, 19-20)
James also talks about the sinful nature in this way,”But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (James 1: 14&15)
Desire calls to all of us in one way or another. For some of us, it is memories of things consumed in the past like; sex or pornography, drugs or alcohol. For others, it is the thought of what they can do to be liked, or thoughts about how they can attain to that covetted position at work. It is different for all of us but desire is just the first level of how the sinful nature bullies us.
According to James, the next thing that happens through this bully’s reign is that those memories or thoughts become sin. Let me state that day-dreaming about certain desires does not always culminate into sin. But, if we continue to allow these desires to control our thoughts; as James says; they will bring forth sin just as a pregnant woman will eventually give birth to a child.
So, know the past thought or desires of the feeling that are associated with being high or inebriated and escaping reality for a while becomes actually partaking in those habits. The conniving about how to get the promotion is now stabbing coworkers in the back to climb your way to the top. How about the thoughts of being liked where do they lead? To disappointment in yourself for compromising all that God has made you to be just to be liked.
So, after this bully gives birth to sin, the Word says that sin grows up and leads to death. That is scary. This is the level at which addiction truly is present. I mean why not; desire has gotten out of control, which lead to the act of sinning over and over again. Then, when your morality meter is skewed and you have to consume more to get the same feeling(delusion) of relief or make more compromises to make more friends death become imminent. Face it, at this stage, YOU ARE HOOKED! And without outside influences, death, in so many ways, is right around the corner.
Paul, when describing the sinful nature or warning us about it, said: Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.(ROMANS 6:12)
And Jesus said,”Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. (John 8:34)
And Peter says,”They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.“(2 Peter 2:19) I love this whole chapter because it points to a group of people whom have been lead astray by the sinful nature and are now slaves to it. And we can see that as slaves they want more people to be enslave and to worship with them. In my mind this is where the concept of “misery loves company” finds its meaning.
Paul says again in Romans 6:16, “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?.”
Slaves. What a concept, even in this day! Being controlled by another can be hard especially when your master does not obey the things of God. There are two kinds of slaves. The first is one whom hates his master because his master beats him, keeps him down, makes him powerless and rips his life from him. There is no joy in the life of this slave only empty broken promises.
The other kind of slave is one whom loves his master and has chosen to become bonded to him. His master loves him and nurtures him wanting him to enjoy life under His rule. He gives him life abundantly. This master thinks of his slaves as sons and daughters. I love how Jesus put it in John. He says,”No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you (John 15:15).”
Even Jesus, the one whom now calls us friends, gives us a warning about being bullied by and allowing ourselves the become slaves of the sinful nature. He says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. (John 8:34)
The bullies that we have visited as of now are all ones whom have no power of us, however this is not the case with the sinful nature and it will not be the case with Satan who is our next bully. Jesus came to set us free of the chains of sin that entangle us. Jesus has been and is still and always will be the answer in my life and i believe that he could be in yours as well. Jesus is the answer!
Prayer: Oh Abba, Father at times I have allowed sin to reign in my life. I have chosen to walk in the darkness instead of fully committing my life to the light. Your light. The only light. FATHER please cleanse me of all unrighteousness. In Jesus’s name. Amen